Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell four points to 56 in December on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) as concerns over housing affordability persist. Although this is the lowest HMI reading since May 2015, builder sentiment remains in positive territory.
“We are hearing from builders that consumer demand exists, but that customers are hesitating to make a purchase because of rising home costs,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “However, recent declines in mortgage interest rates should help move the market forward in early 2019.”
“The fact that builder confidence dropped significantly in areas of the country with high home prices shows how the growing housing affordability crisis is hurting the market,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “This housing slowdown is an early indicator of economic softening, and it is important that builders manage supply-side costs to keep home prices competitive for buyers at different price points.”
U.S. stock-index futures fell on Friday, as investors continued to worry about global economic slowdown, while awaiting the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy guidance.
Today's Change, points
Today's Change, %
(company / ticker / price / change ($/%) / volume)
Amazon.com Inc., NASDAQ
ALTRIA GROUP INC.
American Express Co
Barrick Gold Corporation, NYSE
Cisco Systems Inc
Citigroup Inc., NYSE
FedEx Corporation, NYSE
Ford Motor Co.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., NYSE
General Electric Co
General Motors Company, NYSE
Home Depot Inc
International Business Machines Co...
International Paper Company
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase and Co
Merck & Co Inc
Procter & Gamble Co
Starbucks Corporation, NASDAQ
Tesla Motors, Inc., NASDAQ
The Coca-Cola Co
Twitter, Inc., NYSE
UnitedHealth Group Inc
Verizon Communications Inc
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Walt Disney Co
Business activity grew at a slower pace than in recent months in New York State, according to firms responding to the December 2018 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell twelve points to 10.9. New orders increased modestly, while shipments continued to climb significantly. Delivery times lengthened slightly, and inventories moved higher.
The employment index rose twelve points to 26.1, indicating that employment grew strongly, and hours worked increased modestly. The prices paid index, while still elevated, moved down five points, and the prices received index held steady. Looking ahead, firms remained fairly optimistic about the sixmonth outlook, though optimism was slightly more tempered than in November.
At the same time, Canadian investment in foreign securities increased to $14.9 billion, the largest investment since January 2018.
As a result, international transactions in securities generated a net outflow of funds of $11.0 billion from the Canadian economy in October.
From January to October 2018, portfolio investment generated a net inflow of funds in the economy of $4.8 billion, compared with $100.7 billion for the same period in 2017. Lower foreign purchases of Canadian government bonds combined with higher Canadian purchases of foreign bonds in 2018 explained the difference. Interest rates in the United States have increased by more than their Canadian counterparts so far in 2018.
Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading up 0.9% at $60.81 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.
West Texas Intermediate futures, the U.S. oil standard, were up 0.8% at $51.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
A softer U.S. dollar helped bolster oil prices at the start of the week, after a stronger greenback had provided a headwind for crude prices at the end of last week, according to analysts. Dollar-denominated commodities like oil tend to have an inverse relationship with the U.S. currency. The dollar was down 0.14% in midmorning trade, according to the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of 16 of its peers.
US Measures On Steel, Aluminium Production Allow Protectionism To Be At Large Under Pretext Of National Security
The first estimate for euro area (EA19) exports of goods to the rest of the world in October 2018 was €209.7 billion, an increase of 11.4% compared with October 2017 (€188.3 bn). Imports from the rest of the world stood at €195.8 bn, a rise of 14.8% compared with October 2017 (€170.5 bn). As a result, the euro area recorded a €14.0 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in October 2018, compared with +€17.8 bn in October 2017. Intra-euro area trade rose to €175.6 bn in October 2018, up by 8.7% compared with October 2017.
A year earlier, the rate was 1.5%. European Union annual inflation was 2.0% in November 2018, down from 2.2% in October. A year earlier, the rate was 1.8%.
The lowest annual rates were registered in Denmark (0.7%), Ireland (0.8%) and Portugal (0.9%). The highest annual rates were recorded in Estonia, Hungary and Romania (all 3.2%). Compared with October 2018, annual inflation fell in twenty-five Member States, remained stable in one and rose in one. In November 2018, the highest contribution to the annual euro area inflation rate came from energy (+0.88 percentage points), followed by services (+0.57 pp), food, alcohol & tobacco (+0.38 pp) and non-energy industrial goods (+0.11 pp).
UK Business Sec Clark: Brexit Deal Must Be Put Parliament ‘ Soon’, Brexit Deal Important To End Uncertainty In Economy
In October 2018 seasonally-adjusted data, compared to September 2018, increased both for outgoing flows (+2.5%) and for incoming flows (+2.1%). Exports rose both for non EU countries and EU countries (+5.3% and +0.4% respectively). Imports rose for EU countries (+3.8%) and decreased for non EU countries (-0.1%).
Over the last three months, seasonally-adjusted data, compared to the three months earlier, showed an increase for exports (+1.0%) and for imports (+2.7%).
In October 2018, compared with the same month of the previous year, exports and imports raised (+9.6% and +14.2% respectively). Outgoing flows increased by +11.5% for non EU countries and by +8.1% for EU countries. Incoming flows rose by +24.8% for non EU area and by +7.9% for EU area. The trade balance in October amounted to +3,784 million Euros (+3,040 million Euros for non EU area and +744 million Euros for EU countries).
The prospects for the dollar to rise aren't great, and most of the gains it gathered came earlier in 2018. However, the European economy is taking hits from Brexit, Italian political uncertainty, French protests and the German emissions scandal, as well as uncertainty about trade, SocGen says. "That's a lot for the euro to cope with," the French bank says. Therefore, even though EUR/USD is up 0.1% at 1.1317, the best we can hope for is that the bottom of the current EUR/USD 1.12-1.1450 range holds in the near-term, SocGen says.
A positive start to trading on the stock markets of Europe is expected. This largely reflects US stock futures sentiment.
The price of property coming to market falls by 1.7% (-£5,222) this month, and whilst it is the norm for new seller asking prices to fall at this time of year, this is the largest November drop since 2012
New sellers pricing more realistically in effort to minimise pre-Christmas ‘buyer humbug’ syndrome fuelled by stretched affordability and Brexit uncertainty
All regions see a monthly price fall, with largest falls in the south and the upper price sector:
Higher end London commuter towns – where prices have risen by over 40% since 2011 – unsurprisingly have significant price falls
Annual national rate is marginally negative (-0.2%, -£607) for the first time in seven years
Price slowdown seen as an early Christmas present for some buyers with numbers of sales agreed up nationally by 1% compared to same period a year ago, indicating some sound underlying fundamentals
Resistance levels (open interest**, contracts)
Price at time of writing this review: $1.1307
Support levels (open interest**, contracts):
- Overall open interest on the CALL options and PUT options with the expiration date January, 7 is 69301 contracts (according to data from December, 14) with the maximum number of contracts with strike price $1,1500 (7123);
Resistance levels (open interest**, contracts)
Price at time of writing this review: $1.2580
Support levels (open interest**, contracts):
- Overall open interest on the CALL options with the expiration date January, 7 is 33034 contracts, with the maximum number of contracts with strike price $1,3400 (3836);
- Overall open interest on the PUT options with the expiration date January, 7 is 30402 contracts, with the maximum number of contracts with strike price $1,2450 (2891);
- The ratio of PUT/CALL was 0.92 versus 0.94 from the previous trading day according to data from December, 14
* - The Chicago Mercantile Exchange bulletin (CME) is used for the calculation.
** - Open interest takes into account the total number of option contracts that are open at the moment.
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